We eyed each other suspiciously as we waited for the plane to board. Was that a Samsung phone that the man seated across from me was cradling? Is that woman to the right, the one plugging in her phone, hiding the Galaxy label or is that just happenstance that her sweater's blocking the nameplate?
Then, on the plane, I look over to my left. What is that man hiding? And is he hiding it because it should be off or because it is a SAMSUNG?
The odds, after all, favor that it might be. We just don't know the iteration. There are about 1.8 billion smartphones out there, and Samsung has about a 22% share, double Apple's. It has even gained on Apple in 2016.
Now, only the Galaxy Note 7 explodes. But that means there are more than two million phones out there that can explode, and we are nuts if we think that some warning by a steward is going to keep these would-be bombers from firing up their phones. Heck, I had a jack right next to me. Anything can happen in a closed cabin.
I have been shouting this from the rooftops now for more than a month: this is the most severe, devastating recall I have ever seen, much more than the automobile recalls because it is being handled so poorly. We outlined all of this in a trenchant and persuasive Action Alerts PLUS bulletin about Samsung, all part of our "own it, don't trade it" philosophy about Apple (AAPL) .
The batteries are simply too close together. It can't be fixed. It has to be scrapped and a new phone developed. In the meantime, the liability is endless. Sure, the carriers make more money off of Samsung than Apple. But they are deep-pocketed targets for joint-and-several responsibility, even if you think that's ridiculous. I have been sued for a lot more frivolity.
More important, Samsung has not been forthcoming at all in the biggest market -- China. Again, read our bulletin. A totalitarian state may not like Apple for being as powerful as it is, but at least Apple hasn't dissembled about something so important as to whether the issue is a replaceable battery or an irreplaceable wiring.
Which brings me back to the Apple story.
Put yourself in the shoes of the two million people plus, who bought the Galaxy -- like we can trust that number, as it is probably much higher by this point since they kept saying it was fine. They can revert to a slower model while they wait until it is fixed. Or they can switch. They can't do nothing. You can't live without a phone.
Most people think it is hard to switch, but Apple has developed a switch app that makes it so easy. Yes, there are issues with music, but the new music plan from Apple will make that pretty easy to switch, too.
Maybe people who own Samsung hate Apple phones? But at this point, does it matter? Does it matter when we look at you and wonder if you are an unintentional shoe bomber? Believe me, I wish I were kidding. I have no idea why these are allowed through the TSA gates at all.
You have to figure that with this botched recall where no Galaxy 7 is safe, that's the next to happen.
When it does, do you think Apple's still at $116?
Yeah, me neither.
Oh, and my new watchword about Samsung?
"If you see something, say something."